Overview of North American Whaling

Trace the history of American whaling from Native American beginnings through the early settlers performing shore whaling, on to the rise and fall of the Yankee whaling fleets.  Yankee whalers traveled  the world in search of their quarry.  Become familiar with the diverse, polyglot cultures that participated at home and abroad; the tools and ships of the trade; life aboard the ship; the variety of whales, why and how they were hunted and search a glossary of whaling terms.

Whaling History

WhalingHistory.org – connects all things whaling for researchers, scholars, genealogists and enthusiasts.

Vessels and Terminology

An introduction to the essential tools – the vessels – and terminology used aboard a whaling voyage.

Life Aboard

Learn about the isolated society and daily life aboard a whaleship.  Look at the holidays and festivities at sea and look at family life at sea.

Whales and Hunting

Learn about which whales were hunted and why; how they were captured and processed and how technology changed the industry.

Art and Literature

Learn about scrimshaw, the most well-known whaler’s art.  Look at the most famous of all whaling literature, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick.

Introduction to Reading Logbooks and Journals

Here is a detailed explanation of the things that are found in typical whaling logbook or journal entries.

Yankee Whaling

Learn the early beginnings of North American whaling through the Great Age of Yankee Whaling to the eventual decline.